Large-scale economic shifts—such as those caused by the COVID-19 situation—have a tendency to shift consumer preference in meaningful ways.
A Desrosiers Automotive Consultants (DAC) study shows that while total new light-vehicle sales for the second quarter of 2020 were down significantly, nearly 45 percent, a few relative winners in the market can be identified when market share is considered.
Large pickups accounted for 19.1% of total light-vehicle sales in the second quarter of 2019 and this share grew to 23.1% amidst the lockdowns and uncertainty of the second quarter of 2020.
Small pickups presented a perhaps even more remarkable story with their share rising from 2.1% to 3.5%. The SUV spectrum as a whole also saw a market share increase from 45.3% to 47.1%, although performance among specific segments was somewhat mixed.
The luxury side of the market—consisting of both luxury passenger cars as well as light trucks—performed surprisingly well accounting for 11.5% of the market, up slightly from 11.2%. An interesting development considering luxury sales can be more sensitive to economic downturns.
Even amidst the uncertainty, the trend of increasing light truck sales to decreasing passenger car sales continued with most passenger car segments losing share.
The compact, intermediate, and subcompact passenger car segments lost significant market share between Q2 2019 and Q2 2020 as the passenger car share of the market fell to only 21.4% in Q2 2020.